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Join the Blog Hop--check it out!





Check out my friend, Cynthia Reeg's blog celebrating Blog Hop!

While you're there, look around her site for some great posts for children's authors and for young readers.
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National Picture Book Idea Month

Welcome to National Novel Writing Month, and now, to National Picture Book Idea Month, as well!

I'm not a novel writer, so I've never taken an interest in National Novel Writing Month, which is November, but many children's novelists do. Novel writers know this as NaNoWriMo. The idea is to complete a novel in 30 days.

Sound unrealistic? In this contest the only thing that matters is output--quantity vs: quality, enthusiasm and perseverance over craft, permission to make mistakes and not be perfect. Thirty days and night of literary abandon! Who knows? You may end up with something good enough to revise. So if you are a novelist and would like more information about NaNoWriMo, go to http://www.nanowrimo.org/eng/whatisnano.

Now for us picture book writers. Tara Lazar has created PiBoIdMo, a 30-day challenge for picture book writers!

From her website: "The concept is to create 30 picture book ideas in 30 days. You don’t have to write a manuscript. You don’t need potential best-seller ideas.

You might think of a clever title. Or a name for a character. Or just a silly thing like “purple polka-dot pony.” The object is to heighten your picture-book-idea-generating senses so by the end of the month, you’ll have a file of ideas to help inspire you throughout the year."

Writers who complete the 30-ideas-in-30-days challenge will be eligible for prizes.

The kick-off will be posted this Sunday, on Halloween. You’ll be asked to officially sign-up in early November. Visit every day during the month of November for a new post on inspiration and creativity from guest bloggers.

For a list of guest bloggers, and for more information, go to Tara's website at http://taralazar.wordpress.com/piboidmo2010/.

So, novelist or picture book writer, have fun being creative in November!  Read More 
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Links to Information and Tips on Social Media for Authors

It's two and a half weeks later and I'm still typing my notes from the SCBWI conference in LA! Typing them is a great way to review what I've learned. And a reminder of what I still have to follow up on!

I thought that this week I'd share some great links that I picked up at the conference to information on social media for authors. Here goes!

"The Happy Accident: using social media to help create happy accidents" by Greg Pinkus. Go to www.thehappyaccident.net and read tips on facebook and blogging. Then go to http://www.thehappyaccident.net/scbwi-la/ for more links about social media.

"The Writers' Guide to Twitter" by Debbie Ridpath Ohi. Go to http://www.inkygirl.com/a-writers-guide-to-twitter/ to read the basics of twitter and how it can help writers.

For everything you need to know about doing school visits, check out Alexis o'Neill's site at www.SchoolVisitExperts.com.

Get guidelines for doing Virtual Author visits on Bruce Hale's site at http://www.brucehale.com/virtual.htm.

Then check out book trailers for children's books at http://kidlitbooktrailers.ning.com/ and scroll down to some links.

Happy surfing!  Read More 
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2010 BEA and Children's Authors

If you love to read, and ever have the opportunity to go to Book Expo America, don't miss it! I've gone when it was held at McCormick Place in Chicago. The thought of being in such a huge building, surrounded by publishers and booksellers, is mind boggling in itself. THEN you realize there are free books! AND you can stand in line to have your 'free' books autographed by the authors. Be sure to take something along to carry your treasures home.

This year BookExpo was in New York. Children's authors Cory Doctorow, Mitali Perkins, and Richard Peck spoke at the BEA Children's Authors Breakfast presented by the Children's Book Council (CBC). If you missed BEA and the author breakfast, you can still hear these great children's authors speak. Go to http://www.bookexpocast.com/, scroll down the page to the 2010 BEA children's Author Breakfast, and click on the podcast. It's worth the visit there. Of the three, I've heard Richard Peck in person and he is a wonderful speaker. All three are very inspiring and encouraging here.

I can't wait for BEA to come back to Chicago again!  Read More 
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Aspiring Picture Book Authors

On Saturday I spoke to an amazing group of close to 50 aspiring picture book authors. All of us are authors, some published and some not yet published. All of us are aspiring, some of us hoping to be published for the first time, and some of us hoping for that next book. Read More 
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Caldecott Awards 2010

The Caldecott Medal was named in honor of nineteenth-century English illustrator Randolph Caldecott. It is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children.

The Cladecott Medal winner for 2010 is "The Lion & the Mouse," illustrated and written by Jerry Pinkney (Little, Brown and Company Books for Young Readers).

2010 Honor Books include "All the World," illustrated by Marla Frazee, written by Liz Garton Scanlon, published by Beach Lane Books. And "Red Sings from Treetops: A Year in Colors," illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski, written by Joyce Sidman, published by Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

What wouldn't an author give to have their book chosen as a Caldecott Award Book!

But how can an author, who is not an illustrator as well, make a difference?

What if our words could inspire the most fantastic pictures in the mind of the illustrator! So much so, that their hands and fingers would magically translate those wonderful pictures to paper, which become pages in a book. And in the end, the eyes of a child could see into the heart of our story.

For an author, isn't that what's it's all about? Words, inspiring pictures, inspiring a child?

May our words and pictures work together to inspire the hearts and minds of children. I do so appreciate the illustrators who translate my words into pictures to that end. Read More 
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Oh the Possibilities!

For the past 17 years we been blessed with Esther Hershenhorn, Illinois SCBWI RA, whose catchy enthusiasm, positive thinking, and insight into the world of children's books has helped many children's writers and illustrators move forward. She encouraged us to tell our stories, pointed us in the right direction, and helped us to connect. Lucky me, that her generosity spilled over into Indiana.  Read More 
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